What is down syndrome?
Down syndrome (aka down’s syndrome) is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically. It affects about 1 in every 800 babies.
The construction of the human body is wholly formed by the genetic material is stored in genes.Â Genes are the blueprint responsible for what we are. The genetic material are components or or chromosomes. Â Each cell in our body contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from our father and half from our mother.
When a person inherits down syndrome it is typically caused by an abnormality in the the creation of our cells at the earliest stage of embryotic development. Each of the 46 chromosomes are compiled by pairs. A person with down syndrome has developed Â three copies of the 21st chromosome instead of the usual two. Prior to or at conception, a pair of 21st chromosomes in either the sperm or the egg fails to separate. As the embryo develops, the extra chromosome is replicated in every cell of the body. This type of Down syndrome, which accounts for 95% of cases, is called Trisomy 21. Because of the extra genetic matter in our cells people with down syndrome have cognitive and physical differences which makes their life experience different that what we think as “typical”.
The physical features and medical problems associated with Down syndrome can vary widely from person to person. Just as typical children experience, many people with down syndrome need significant amounts of medical attentions while others lead a healthy life.
Though Down syndrome can’t be prevented, it can be detected before a child is born. The health problems that can go along with DS can be treated, and there are many resources within communities to help kids and their families who are living with the condition.
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